Teratornis Merriamai Bird Skull measures 9x4x4 inches. Teratornis Merriamai Bird Skull is museum quality polyurethane cast. Made in USA. 2-part skull (separate cranium and jaw). Our precise skull can be used as a teaching tool, museum skull exhibit, home decor skull, or office decor skull.

Teratornis merriami or Pleistogyps rex was a huge North American bird of prey. A large number of fossil and sub-fossil bones, representing more than 100 individuals, have been found in locations in California, Oregon, southern Nevada, Arizona, and Florida, though most are from the Californian La Brea Tar Pits.

Teratornis merriami or Pleistogyps rex had a wingspan of around 11 to 12 ft. and a wing area of 17.5 square meters, standing an estimated 30 in. tall. It was somewhat larger than the extant Andean and weighing about 33 lb., was nearly double the weight of an average Californian condor.

Teratornis merriami or Pleistogyps rex finger bones are fused as in all modern birds; however, part of the index finger forms a shelf which aided in bearing the load of long and stout primaries, which enabled the bird to utilize strong up currents.

The legs were similar to an Andean Condor’s, but stouter, and the feet could hold prey items for tearing off pieces, but could not exert a very forceful grip such as in birds of prey.

Its wing loading was not much larger than a Californian Condor’s, and Teratornis Merriami or Pleistogyps rex should have been able to take off by simply jumping and beating its wings under most circumstances.

It seems to have been better adapted for that than for utilizing a short run into the wind from an elevated location, as its legs are proportionally smaller.

Teratornis merriami or Pleistogyps rex was also well adapted to hunt for smaller animals which are also known to have utilized the pools. Analysis of the skull and bill shapes suggests that fish may have constituted a major part of its diet.

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Additional information

Weight 3 lbs
Dimensions 9 × 4 × 4 in
Teratornis Merriamai Facts

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Accipitriformes
Family: †Teratornithidae
Genus: †Teratornis
Type species
Teratornis merriami
Species: T. merriami
Conservation Status: Extinct